Categories
Christian Blog Peace

Peace by Piece

For three years, Matsuko longed to return to the farm, near Salinas, California, where her husband Hayato’s family had grown strawberries for three generations. It was home. During the Second World War, she and her family were among the many Japanese Americans forcibly interred in camps.

Finally, the war ended and the Nakamura family returned. But as they stood across the road from their once well kept farm, it was clear all was not well. The strawberry fields surrounding their home were overgrown and the front door of the house gaped wide open.

Thankfully, a kind neighbor saved all the farm equipment, but the house had been ransacked. Almost everything of value had been either looted or destroyed.

Matsuko was particularly distressed that the pillagers smashed all of her mother’s china. Not one plate, cup, or saucer survived intact. She began that same day to sort the broken pieces, putting them carefully back together with glue.

One day her young son, Kato, asked her why she was going to so much trouble. After all, she’d only been able to patch together a few plates.

I must take things broken apart and make them whole again.

Matsuko Nakamura

Thank God for people like Matsuko who strive to make things right, who pick up the pieces–no matter how small–and put them back together again.

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

Romans 14:19 (NIV)

Is there something broken today that with God’s help you could “peace” back together?

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Jesus — Matthew 5:9a (NIV)

*This story is historical fiction, but inspired by actual events. The plot and characters are entirely from my imagination. However, Jesus, the Bible, and the life application are real.😇

This post was first published on August 3, 2019.

Categories
advent Christian Blog

When Light Surprises

Most of last week, leading up to the first Sunday of Advent, the weather here was overcast and gloomy. This is unusual for our part of the country, which gets around 250 sunny days per year.

Delightedly, the Sabbath dawned bright and clear. It was an ideal beginning to the first Sunday of Advent.

Speaking with a friend at church, I confided in him that the cloudy conditions were starting to get to me–before the sun broke through.

He told me a captivating story about a semester he spent at the University of Washington in Seattle. My friend was there for the fall semester and only saw the sun twice!

One such occurrence happened during calculus class, when full sunlight suddenly poured through a wall of windows. The buttoned-down professor stopped teaching, and everyone in the room went to investigate.

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. They lived in a land of shadows, but now light is shining on them.

Isaiah 9:2 (GNT)

Kind reader, Jesus Christ is the embodiment of God’s light in human form–like the sun bursting through the clouds on a dreary morning. Quick, everyone to a window!

Photo by Tiana on Pexels.com

Even in darkness light shines on honest people. It shines on those who are kind and tender and godly.

Psalm 112:4 (NIRV)

Thank you for reading. 🙏❤️ prayers and love.


This first appeared as a guest post on The Devotional Guy on December 1, 2022.

First photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

Categories
Christian Blog resilience

Dog Gone It!

We have a dog in our neighborhood that’s a fence jumper. Every so often, even with the gate shut, he magically appears in the backyard. He’s friendly enough, but we worry what might happen if he gets in when our little dog is out.

We thought we had the problem solved. Our super-athletic trespasser liked to jump the one section of our fence that was four feet tall, so we replaced it with a six foot wooden privacy fence. We now have a tall fence around our whole backyard. “That should do it,” I told my wife.

But wouldn’t you know, one day we looked out and there he was– standing on the back patio laughing at himself in the window. What kind of dog gets over a six foot privacy fence?!

This has to be yet another metaphor for life. We build fences around our circumstances to control them. And then, when something breaches our puny perimeter, we build better ones.

Yet sometimes, no matter how hard we try, IT still happens. They make LifeProof cases for phones, but not for the human condition. And when something jumps the ‘fence’ and comes to the window, it’s easy to feel violated, unsafe and unsure about the future.

Enter God, the creator and sustainer of the universe, who most certainly understands humans. 

He became one.

And, as it turns out, He’s a fence builder too.

You hem me in–behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.

Psalm 139:5 (NIV)

King David doesn’t mention sideways, but surely the Almighty has that covered as well.😀🙏

So friend, can we agree that whatever we’re facing right now—be it good, bad or ugly—God saw it coming and knows what to do about it?

His Word is His bond.

Kind reader, thank you for enduring my daily posts for one week. After today, I will be back to my normal schedule.

🙏❤️ prayers and love.


Photo by Dallas Reedy on Unsplash


This post first appeared on my blog in September of 2020.